2. Are the Ducks ready to compete?
This is perhaps the biggest question facing the Anaheim Ducks in 2020-21, although we are leaving it second on our list for a good reason – you will see why in a minute.
It is clear that Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray feels as though the Ducks can be competitive in the West Division and, in truth, anything can happen in a shortened 56-game schedule.
I mean, you don’t go out and sign a player of Kevin Shattenkirk’s ilk unless you believe that you can be even half good, so it is clear what the mindset and the mentality will be in Ducks Training Camp.
However, are the Anaheim Ducks ready to compete?
They were one of the worst teams in the NHL in 2019-20 and were one of the famous seven – yep, that’s what we’re calling them now – to miss the postseason and Kevin Shattenkirk was their biggest offseason addition.
There’s still a boatload of question marks surrounding this team, including whether or not this current defense group is good enough to give John Gibson the help he desperately needs, with the two-time All-Star enduring a down year in 2019-20 with a 3.00 Goals Against Average and a .904 Save Percentage.
The offense is cause for concern too given that it ranked 29th (2.56) last year, which wasn’t helped by a down year by Ryan Getzlaf and the fact that the likes of Max Jones, Rickard Rakell, Sam Steel and Troy Terry haven’t really unlocked their potential yet.
Plus, stuck in a Division with heavyweights in the St. Louis Blues, the Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights, not to mention the likes of the Arizona Coyotes, the Minnesota Wild and the San Jose Sharks who are probably all better than the Ducks right now, making the Playoffs will be far from easy.
Another concern is that there isn’t a lot of star quality on that roster as it is currently constituted, and I don’t think there is enough pieces on this team yet to be really competitive. The front office may be wise trying to focus on having another productive year at the Draft instead in order to really set this team up for a year or two down the road.
Speaking of which…